When your kids move out for college, you want to ensure that they have access to everything they need for a successful transition to the next phase of their lives. You make sure that they have linens, electronics, and kitchen supplies. When they arrive, you check that they know where the grocery store is… even if you aren’t sure that they are actually going to buy many vegetables. You will also want to make sure that they register with college healthcare services. But parents, you may even want to add somewhere they can receive therapeutic support to the list. We can help guide you for talking to your college-aged kids about therapy!
Don’t wait until there is an issue to encourage your kids to access therapy if they think it would be helpful. Check if your kid’s college campus healthcare provides ongoing support if needed. Many schools offer only time-limited crisis support before referring out to other practices. Talk through insurance options with your kid. Are they staying on the family insurance or going to be using the student insurance offered by their university? Once you have that decided, you can check out the list of approved providers in their new area. Get your kid to check out the options and have a few highlighted in case they are needed.
Be positive with your kid when discussing their new life, but be realistic that it could sometimes be challenging. Tell them that getting mental health support, if they need it, isn’t a big deal. Have them read the 5 things college students need to know about therapy. Check-in with them on a regular schedule you have agreed upon, even if it is just a brief catch-up. Stay flexible about how they communicate. Check-in on their mental health as part of your catch-up. If you think it sounds like they could do with a little more support, remind them of the options they have already picked out.